Tropical Geography ›› 2021, Vol. 41 ›› Issue (1): 45-54.doi: 10.13284/j.cnki.rddl.003300

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Exposure Characteristics and Residents' Perception of Air Pollution in Neighborhood Parks: The Case of the Guangzhou Central Urban Area

Wenyue Yang1(), Xin Li1, Yingmei Mo1, Huiling Chen2()   

  1. 1.College of Forestry and Landscape Architecture, South China Agricultural University, Guangzhou 510642, China
    2.School of Tourism Management, Hunan University of Technology and Business, Changsha 410205, China
  • Received:2020-03-26 Revised:2020-05-09 Online:2021-01-05 Published:2021-02-19
  • Contact: Huiling Chen;


Neighborhood parks are green spaces where nearby residents can have their recreational activities. However, in many cases, land use planning and park design do not consider the relationship between the park location, its shape and size, and distance to the main road, traffic, and air pollution, which may expose residents using the park to the risks of air pollution. Meanwhile, existing research has paid less attention to the air pollution of green park spaces, especially at the neighborhood level. Based on air pollution monitoring and survey data, this study explored the spatial characteristics of air pollution in 33 neighborhood parks in the central urban area of Guangzhou, China, as well as the influencing factors, and residents' perception of air pollution when using the neighborhood park. The main conclusions are the following: 1) The air pollution exposure risks and their spatial pattern distribution in neighborhood parks in various districts are quite different, and the proportion of parks with low exposure risk is relatively small; 2) the Air Quality Index (AQI), PM1.0, and PM10 are significantly negatively associated with the area of neighborhood parks, while AQI, PM1.0, PM10, and PM2.5 are significantly positively associated with the patch shape index. In addition, the carbon dioxide (CO2) index is significantly negatively associated only with the distance from the urban main roads. However, there is almost no correlation between primary and secondary road density within the 1 km buffer zone of the neighborhood boundary and the degree of air pollution. 3) More than one-third of the residents' subjective perception of the air pollution level is better than the objective measurement, which indicates that they overestimated the air quality of the neighborhood park. This may have possibly led them to more exposure to the bad air environment when they do some physical activities there. When there are possible traffic pollution sources around neighborhood parks, residents' subjective perceptions of air quality are low. 4) Alternative activity spaces and accessibility of neighborhood parks affect the risk of residents' exposure to air pollution. If there is no alternative activity space around the residence, or the nearest neighborhood park is more accessible, residents would be more inclined to head to the neighborhood park for physical activity, even if they perceive the risk of air pollution exposure. In addition, this study has some policy insights. Neighborhood parks can help to suppress the diffusion of particulate matter, but most of them are small and have limited effects on mitigating traffic air pollution. To maximize the ecological service function of neighborhood parks and their role in air pollution purification, neighborhood parks covering larger areas, having higher accessibility and fuller shapes, and being far away from main traffic roads should be promoted. It is necessary to implement targeted space optimization and air pollution control strategies, such as control traffic around neighborhood parks with more serious air pollution; increase protective green spaces, the number of street trees, and road greening; optimize building planning and layout; and improve non-motorized travel environments.

Key words: neighborhood park, exposed air pollution, air quality, residents' perception, health

CLC Number: 

  • X513